It was a Saturday night, and my daughter and I were standing at the kitchen door. She was just about to leave when she said, “I’ll come to dinner tomorrow, if you feel like cooking.”
“I’ll cook,” I said. “I’m having pot roast tomorrow.”
She removed the pot roast from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator.
“I want you to get started on dinner early,” she said.
She knew my bad habit of dragging around into the late afternoon before starting Sunday dinner. When she left, I promised to call and let her know I was up and cooking. .
After my daughter was gone, I thought about the Lipton Onion Soup Mix. I knew I would have to go to the store in the morning because I didn’t have the Lipton Onion Soup Mix that I use for seasoning the roast. I had planned to cook the roast without it because it was just my husband and me. But I wanted the roast to be flavorful since my daughter indicated by her words and actions that she was coming to dinner.
Sunday morning, I took the roast out of the refrigerator and sat it in the sink, and then I went to the grocery store. When I returned, the roast was thawed completely. It was about 11 a.m., and I started cooking. Because my daughter is such a loving daughter and generally a sweet person, I wanted to do more than have a roast and boiled potatoes. I decided to bake a macaroni and cheese casserole and add a vegetable and lettuce and tomato salad.
After I took the casserole from the oven, I asked my husband if our daughter had called. He said no. I thought about calling her but my second thought said she would show up. She lives in the far southern suburbs, which is a 60-minute ride to the West Side. I didn’t want to pressure her into coming by calling if she had changed her mind.
Dinner was ready at 2:30. I walked back and forth to the front door to see if my daughter had arrived.
At three o’clock, the phone rang. It was she.
“Did you cook?” she asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Why didn’t you call me?” she said, annoyed.
“I don’t know what I was thinking. I got involved in cooking, and I thought you would call or just show up.
“Why didn’t you call me?” I asked.
She said, “I didn’t want to pressure you into cooking if you didn’t feel up to it. Because you didn’t call, I went out to buy something to eat. I had an accident. A window blew off the back of a pickup truck and crashed into the windshield of my car.
“Are you in the hospital?” I screamed into the phone.
“No, I’m at the police station.”
My heart started beating again.
“Is the driver of the pickup truck there?” I asked.
“No, as soon as he realized the window flew off the back of his truck, he drove away. I followed him for a while, but he got away.
“Did you get his license plate number?” I inquired.
“No, by the time I thought of it, it was all over. I got to go, Ma, the police want more information, and I need the accident report for my insurance.”
I spent the rest of Sunday evening kicking myself for not calling. If I had called, my daughter would not have been on the highway going to get something to eat. She would not have had a cracked windshield. She had already had so much trouble with her car. In May, the car was hit in the rear, in June the brakes went out, and now the windshield is cracked causing more out-of-pocket payment.
Why didn’t I call? Why didn’t she call? Maybe, because we love each other so much, and we didn’t want to impose on the other. However, I made a promise I didn’t keep. It could have caused a tragedy.